ERIC Number: ED351513
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Jul
Economics of Rectitude: Necessary But Not Sufficient. Occasional Paper 1992-3.
Levitan, Sar A.; And Others
Working diligently, living frugally, and restraining one's lusts and appetites within defensible boundaries have often been classified as middle class values. A growing concern of the U.S. public is the dysfunctional conduct of many of those dependent upon its support. However, society must demonstrate persuasively that rectitude pays. Society also has an obligation to make obstacles surmountable and the prospects of success believable. No available database contains information flowing directly from questions formulated to test the economic impacts of personal rectitude. Analysis of data from the youth cohort of the National Longitudinal Studies of Labor Market Outcomes suggests that family breakup, teen and unwed parentage, illegal activity, substance abuse, and deficient educational attainment all constitute obstacles to obtaining sustained employment and substantial earnings. Individuals who conduct themselves with recititude are seen as more likely to emerge from poverty than those who do not. A number of disincentives discourage acceptable conduct: lack of access to employment and limited payoff, lack of access to schools that offer necessary preparation for postsecondary education and limited payoff, incentives to teen pregnancy, poverty as an obstacle to marriage, drugs, peer influence, parent influences, health obstacles, and crime and corrections. Positive reinforcements to strengthen incentives for rectitude are strengthening families, pregnancy prevention, avoiding drug involvement, "sticks and carrots," schools, and employment and training. (Contains 104 references.) (YLB)
Descriptors: Access to Education, Adult Education, Adults, Antisocial Behavior, Economic Factors, Economically Disadvantaged, Moral Values, Poverty, Self Control, Self Destructive Behavior, Self Efficacy, Social Values, Substance Abuse, Unemployment, Vocational Education, Welfare Recipients, Welfare Services, Work Ethic, Youth
Public Interest Publications, P.O. Box 229, Arlington, VA 22210.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: George Washington Univ., Washington, DC. Center for Social Policy Studies.